Imagine There’s No Money and No Guns

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Imagine There's No Money and No Guns

by baldilocks

Title sung to the melody of John Lennon’s Imag­ine, appro­pri­ately enough.

They always tell you what they’re plan­ning and the plan always involves con­trol of two things: you and your money.

From Aaron Sorkin at the New York Times:

Here’s an idea.

What if the finance indus­try — credit card com­pa­nies like Visa, Mas­ter­card and Amer­i­can Express; credit card proces­sors like First Data; and banks like JPMor­gan Chase and Wells Fargo — were to effec­tively set new rules for the sales of guns in America?

Col­lec­tively, they have more lever­age over the gun indus­try than any law­maker. And it wouldn’t be hard for them to take a stand.

Pay­Pal, Square, Stripe and Apple Pay announced years ago that they would not allow their ser­vices to be used for the sale of firearms.

We do not believe per­mit­ting the sale of firearms on our plat­form is con­sis­tent with our val­ues or in the best inter­ests of our cus­tomers,” a spokesman for Square told me.

The big finan­cial firms don’t even have to go that far.

For exam­ple, Visa, which pub­lished a 71-​page paper in 2016 espous­ing its “cor­po­rate respon­si­bil­ity,” could eas­ily change its terms of ser­vice to say that it won’t do busi­ness with retail­ers that sell assault weapons, high-​capacity mag­a­zines and bump stocks, which make semi­au­to­matic rifles fire faster. (Even the National Rifle Asso­ci­a­tion has said it would sup­port tighter restric­tions on bump stocks.)

If Mas­ter­card were to do the same, assault weapons would be elim­i­nated from vir­tu­ally every firearms store in Amer­ica because oth­er­wise the sell­ers would be cut off from the credit card system.

There is prece­dent for credit card issuers to ban the pur­chase of com­pletely legal prod­ucts. Just this month, JPMor­gan Chase, Cit­i­group and Bank of Amer­ica banned the use of their cards to buy Bit­coin and other cryptocurrencies.

And there’s more.

There are other sec­tors of the finance indus­try that could step up. For exam­ple, Lloyd’s of Lon­don is the favored insur­ance com­pany for gun shows. It could pull out.

You want a finan­cial melt­down? This is how you get one. Most of those who would be against this and who can afford weapons can just pull their money out of these insti­tu­tions. And what hap­pens to the insti­tu­tions? And what hap­pens next? And after that?

I’m not finan­cially lit­er­ate enough to pre­dict the spe­cific con­se­quences of such thing, but I know that it’s a bad idea for this coun­try. Real bad. And I think that Sorkin knows this, too. Fea­ture, not a bug.

See, I’m one of those peo­ple who thinks that the left­ist intel­li­gentsia wants Left­ism and they believe that cre­at­ing large-​scale finan­cial chaos – or any other type of chaos — will fast-​track the descent. To that end, this class keeps push­ing and pushing.

Is all of this a pipe dream?

We’ll see. I’m bet­ting it will be tried. Imag­ine a USA where only crim­i­nals and the gov­ern­ment (BIRM) have guns.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng has been blog­ging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here. She pub­lished her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-​GoDaddy host!

Or hit Juliette’s!

by baldilocks

Title sung to the melody of John Lennon’s Imagine, appropriately enough.

They always tell you what they’re planning and the plan always involves control of two things: you and your money.

From Aaron Sorkin at the New York Times:

Here’s an idea.

What if the finance industry — credit card companies like Visa, Mastercard and American Express; credit card processors like First Data; and banks like JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo — were to effectively set new rules for the sales of guns in America?

Collectively, they have more leverage over the gun industry than any lawmaker. And it wouldn’t be hard for them to take a stand.

PayPal, Square, Stripe and Apple Pay announced years ago that they would not allow their services to be used for the sale of firearms.

“We do not believe permitting the sale of firearms on our platform is consistent with our values or in the best interests of our customers,” a spokesman for Square told me.

The big financial firms don’t even have to go that far.

For example, Visa, which published a 71-page paper in 2016 espousing its “corporate responsibility,” could easily change its terms of service to say that it won’t do business with retailers that sell assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and bump stocks, which make semiautomatic rifles fire faster. (Even the National Rifle Association has said it would support tighter restrictions on bump stocks.)

If Mastercard were to do the same, assault weapons would be eliminated from virtually every firearms store in America because otherwise the sellers would be cut off from the credit card system.

There is precedent for credit card issuers to ban the purchase of completely legal products. Just this month, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America banned the use of their cards to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

And there’s more.

There are other sectors of the finance industry that could step up. For example, Lloyd’s of London is the favored insurance company for gun shows. It could pull out.

You want a financial meltdown? This is how you get one. Most of those who would be against this and who can afford weapons can just pull their money out of these institutions. And what happens to the institutions?  And what happens next? And after that?

I’m not financially literate enough to predict the specific consequences of such thing, but I know that it’s a bad idea for this country. Real bad. And I think that Sorkin knows this, too. Feature, not a bug.

See, I’m one of those people who thinks that the leftist intelligentsia wants Leftism and they believe that creating large-scale financial chaos – or any other type of chaos — will fast-track the descent. To that end, this class keeps pushing and pushing.

Is all of this a pipe dream?

We’ll see. I’m betting it will be tried. Imagine a USA where only criminals and the government (BIRM) have guns.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-GoDaddy host!

Or hit Juliette’s!